Anomaly

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #52: Anomaly

 

I should have seen this as an ominous sign of things to come.

The bizarre muffin situation of April, 2008.

It happened 11 months before I was diagnosed – much to my surprise and dismay – with celiac disease.

Marking the starting point of my downward spiral…into the land of massive shoulder shrugging by countless doctors and specialists. I was convinced somebody had answers to my pileup of accompanying symptoms and why and what-the-hell-is-going-on with my body questions….

…Back to the muffins…
What the heck happened here? I had no idea.
Regular muffins. Nothing crazy. A simple dependable recipe that produced muffins of uniform shape and size. One of the easier items to bake.
But this batch?
Odd. Weird. Peculiar looking.
An anomaly.

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So much so, that I documented. My husband and I had a few chuckles as well.

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One year later I started a new baking adventure: gluten free everything.
Including muffins. Which, though more difficult to make, never turned out like those weird ones from BC (Before Celiac).

I, on the other hand, had become an anomaly in the exam rooms in 4 states.

As health care professionals attempted to diagnose my ever expanding list of health problems…with answers that did little to satisfy…

I’ve never seen this before.
Mmmm…the usual tests look normal.
I’m not sure what to do next.
It’s probably autoimmune.
Most people don’t have all these symptoms.
There’s not much we can do.

Let’s wait and see…

and…my favorite…

Sometimes this happens.

Green

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #51: Green

 

tree 2 copy

This was the view outside my home a few days ago.

The color green is everywhere.

Spring time explains it…before the heat of summer dries the grass to a crispy brown.

There is something comforting about blue + yellow.

I chose green as the color for my first bedroom-of-my-own when I was 11 years old. Emerald green carpet. Green diamond patterned wallpaper (which I loved, even though it aggravated the paper hanger). The only green in the house. A marked contrast to my sisters’ purple and pink florals.

The woods I explored. The leafy tree I climbed. The grass I sprawled out on. Looking up…studying cloud formations.

When I was seven…my favorite dress.

My birthstone…

All green.

Acceptance

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #50:  Acceptance

“There’s release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there’s nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at last, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance.”

Sue Monk Kidd
The Mermaid Chair

 

grasses

 

Acceptance…may mean making peace with an overwhelming, ugly truth. Living with it in your head.

My head.

The new raw reality nudges me. Breaks my concentration on a bright sunny day. I take it out. Examine it. Until a familiar gnawing sickness in the pit of my stomach makes me look away. I put it back before it drops from my shaking hands and explodes.

I’m a member of a club I never asked to join. But was accepted into anyway. I don’t belong here. But it turns out I do. Surrounded by the nameless who also lost their pasts. Exposing ragged edges of grief. Struggling to reach a place of resignation in a stark new reality. Healing measured in tiny steps.

Get over it Move on Let it go…well meaning, but frantic pleas from those who care, but…they aren’t in my head with the unimaginable truth. How could they possibly get it?

So for those of us who struggle to accept what life has thrown up on us…for those of us with battle scar tread marks on our backs…we yearn to be accepted…frailties, brokenness and all. In order to be whole again.

Not easy for them to accept the changes.

Even more difficult for us to go it alone.

 

 

 

 

Gadget

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #49: Gadget

Tell (or show) me about those gadgets in your life, or better yet, put on your creative caps and invent something new.

 

 

magnifier 1
flashlight magnifier

 

It is right here on my desk.

A gadget of sorts that I tossed in a drawer over 25 years ago.
Thinking…I can probably use this thing once in a while. If I ever need it. Someday. Maybe for teeny tiny print on a label…

Teasing my husband – who is a year my senior – you’ll probably need this before I do. 

Little did I know….

The truth is…I kept it because it was Oma’s. My grandmother, who ended up nearly blind from macular degeneration, viewed life through a blurry haze. Despite the thick glasses she was forced to wear in the last few decades of her life.

When Oma moved to an assisted living facility near me after Opa died, I arranged for her to have cataract surgery – with amazing results. Honey I can see colors!  At 84, the blurry haze was finally in color.

Many years earlier she had gone to the Lighthouse for the Blind in New York for help. Which is where she got this flashlight magnifier. A marvelous invention.

It turned out to be more than a gadget. It was her pathway to reading greeting cards, letters from family and friends. Reader’s Digest. Restaurant menus.

She died at the age of almost 87. I saved her letters. Her photographs. A few pieces of her jewelry. The hand mirror that emits a laughing sound when you pick it up. And the Lighthouse for the Blind flashlight magnifier.

It has been dusted off and put to use a few times over the years. However, the older I get – and the more I have to reach for those DARN reading glasses – the more I switch on Oma’s gadget instead…

So handy when I examine Opa’s color slides…checking for dust…before scanning them for this blog.

It works like a charm.

I think of her every time I use it.

 

 

 

 

 

Compassion

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #48: Compassion

There is no small act of kindness.
Every compassionate act makes large the world.

Mary Anne Radmacher

 

bench

 

One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.

Shannon L. Alder

 

You are not alone…
When we sit together
Side by side.
How are you…
How are you really.

You are not alone…
In turmoil and pain
When you take my hand
I will listen.

You are not alone…
As you heal
Searching for your truth
I am here.

You are heard

Monkey Mind

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly challenge #47: In-Between

This week, I need your inspiration – where do you go in the in-between? How do you survive it? Or maybe the in-between is ripe with gifts?

~~~

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We will call you when the all the lab tests come back…
Pathology could take a while…
You’ll have to wait for the results.

       Waiting

Watching
Worrying
Wanting
What If
When Will
What Now
What Then
Why
When
Where

Waiting

The monkey mind churns.
Stealing today’s minutes in-between.
Poof.
Gone.

Helpless jumble of thoughts line up unbidden Bumping into each other Scrambling gibberish Is it five minutes or five hours I can’t stand another secondof….

Turn It Off

Short circuit the loop of lunacy.
Plug in
Three minutes of song.
Shut frantic tired eyes

One-Two.
One-Two-Three-Four.

Volume up.
Way up.

Melodies seep past fear laced neurons
Soothing the gray matter of terror
A foot tapping rhythm takes over…
Three minutes of happy.

ListenHearFeelMoveSingScream
Breathe deep.
Taste hope.

Familiar anthem
From the before.
Temporary respite
Filling the now..
The in-between.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”…
“Lovely Day”…

or a more recent discovery…

“Brighter Than the Sun”…

…whatever reaches deep.

Repeat.

Hold on.

As the clock keeps ticking

Sunup to Sundown

In-between.

A Response

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #46: Response

For this week’s challenge, I thought it might be interesting to create a post in response to someone else’s work. This might be a poem in response to an image, or an image in response to a poem. It might be an imagined dialogue, or a response that demonstrates how the other has inspired you. As always, be creative, and remember to create a link to the original piece.

~~~

 

Pat at 2squarewriting posted “The Art of Letting Go – Moving On Without Losing Everyone You Know” on April 4, 2019.

My response…

 

sitting at beach

It’s okay to
wrap up the
indignation and despair
for what was real
but really wasn’t

grateful to know
the difference

from years grown up
tethered to an illusion
of close connections

grateful to gain
the strength

to halt
the searching
for the right and the wrong

finally understanding
there’s still
time

to carefully
wrap it
seal it
tie the bow

and
gently
leave it behind